Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas - at 52-48, it was the closest confirmation vote in U.S. History.

October 16, 1991 – By 52-48, Clarence Thomas Squeaks In.

Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas – at 52-48, it was the closest confirmation vote in U.S. History.

October 16, 1991 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 16, 1991 – By a 52-48 vote, the Senate confirmed Judge Clarence Thomas to sit on the Supreme Court. After a bruising confirmation hearing, Thomas received the closest vote in U.S. History. In the end, 11 Democrats joined with 41 Republicans to give Clarence Thomas the votes needed for Confirmation. The key votes came from the Democrats who previously announced for Thomas and who stuck with him. Even when it was clear that Thomas would win, there was little joy. Many Republicans, supporters of Thomas since the beginning, were still fuming over what Thomas had been through. And many Democrats were still railing over the nominees President Bush was bringing to the Hill for confirmation, saying that with each nomination, Bush had made the process more elaborate and less informative. Now that the confirmation hearings and vote was over, the House had to tackle another set of issues brought on by the Thomas/Hill brouhaha, among them: unauthorized leaks of confidential information, the politicizing of Supreme Court Nominations and the role of outside interest groups in the investigation process. But the man who pronounced himself dead the Saturday before had no declared himself reborn.

In the end, Anita Hill‘s Sexual harassment charges only influenced three Senators votes, and that Hill was hoping this vote was not seen as a deterrent to come forth with other charges of sexual harassment in the future.Hill felt it was an important issue and that the dialogue should not stop with the events of this day.

Meanwhile – The Clarence Thomas confirmation vote had repercussions with many around the country. A few felt that, with Thomas’ confirmation, and a decided shift to the right by the court, some landmark decision, such as Roe V. Wade would be overturned within two years. Ironically, the court was scheduled to take up an Abortion Rights protest case. All eyes on SCOTUS, this day.

And that’s only a small slice of what went on this day throughout the world, as reported by the CBS World News Roundup for October 16, 1991.

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